Pricey but pretty hatch

2010-08-06 09:57

Fiat has given its preppy Bravo a face-lift, but the surgery was so minimal the ­designers hardly needed a ­scalpel. You may find it ­difficult to spot the subtle ­enhancements, but the improvements can definitely be felt behind the wheel.

Under the bonnet is the 1.4 turbocharged T-Jet engine, which kicks out 110kW of ­power.

This is coupled with a six-speed manual gearbox, hence the model is known as the ­Bravo Sport.

Though pricey, it’s a pretty hatchback with good power specs compared with its direct competitors – the VW Golf VI and Renault Megane III.

The ­Bravo Sport comes with an overboost button marked “sport” in the dashboard that you press for that added growl. While this model is not that different from the previous one, the car has a new grille with a metallic finish, smoked headlights, and the side indicators above the wheel arches are now clear instead of amber.

Two new body colours have also been added: tempesta grey, which is a shiny mid-tone ­silver; and ballad pearl, which is more of a creamy bronze.

The proof is certainly in the pudding when you drive this car. The enhancements focus on comfort levels without sacrificing the car’s responsiveness.

It’s a given that all cars have a noise, vibration and harshness rating, so the engineers have improved the insulation inside the car, making the ­Bravo much quieter while driving. These tweaks have also reduced the wind noise you hear when driving at high speeds.

On the inside, there are still the sporty seats, the carbon ­fibre-look inserts and the ­deep-dish instruments. The door panels have been slightly nipped to make way for the ­reflectors. The centre console behind the gear lever is bigger and is also refrigerated.

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